Socapri, a men’s and women’s ready-to-wear vertical retailer, is transporting Capri’s relaxed yet sophisticated vibe to American shores with a 1,350-square-foot store on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. It’s the first of several units Socapri’s owners plan to open, with other locations to include Los Angeles, Miami and the Hamptons.
Marino Cucinella, who founded Socapri with his brother Carmine said the Palm Beach store is projected to do $700,000 in sales in its first year.
The store’s design is similar to Socapri’s flagship on Via Camerelle on the Italian island. Ceilings are painted a shade of turquoise that’s “the color of the sea in Capri,” said Cucinella. Lemon tree branches, indigenous to the island, form an arch at the entrance to the store. Natural jute rugs and clean metal fixtures give the store an airy feel, while white display cases bound in leather recall steamer trunks.
Socapri, which is designed and manufactured in Italy, includes ready-to-wear, shoes and swimwear for men and women. Fabrics of choice are linen and silk. The men’s collection is priced from $300 for a polo shirt to $1,395 for a red silk blazer. Women’s dresses, including a crisp red and white color-blocked fit and flare dress and long sleeveless gown with oversize botanical prints, start at $700. Socapri’s classic items include a Jackie Kennedy-style shift dress; a wicker basket handbag with a crocodile flap and bamboo handle, $2,370; bikini, $340, and blue cotton and silk shirtdress, $1,395.
“We say our clothes will take you from the morning to aperitivo, when you’re having a drink in front of the Piassetta [Capri’s central square],” Cucinella said. “Socapri is made for you to enjoy life in a very classy, but relaxed way. You don’t need to have a yacht. We don’t have one.”
An international e-commerce site is under construction and scheduled to bow in the U.S. and Europe in the spring. For now there’s a video of the island’s craggy landscape, deep blue Mediterranean ocean, fuchsia flowers and colorful tiles to whet consumers’ appetites.
Cucinella, who grew up in Puglia, in the South of Italy, visited Capri with his family often when he was a child. It started with trips to the Amalfi Coast, “which is 20 minutes by ferry from Capri,” he said. “Every year we used to go to Capri more and more.”
Socapri is a family business with no outside investors, Cucinella said, and he wants to keep it that way. “The business is not simple, but we have the money and the energy,” he said.
The original Socapri store opened in 2013 behind the Piassetta, but quickly outgrew the space and moved to the larger Via Camerelle location last year.
“We’ve been interested in fashion since we were young because my grandfather was a really elegant man,” Cucinella said. “He used to take us with him to [the best] shops around Milan and Naples. His style was really sophisticated. We got the inspiration for the brand from him.”
Cucinella lives in Capri from May until the beginning of November, when the Via Camerelle store closes for the season. He’s now living in Palm Beach, but plans to return to Capri for the flagship’s reopening in May.
Socapri created exclusive items for the Palm Beach store, including a palm print silk jumpsuit. “We’re thinking of developing a Palm Beach collection for men next year,” Cucinella said.